In the first decade of the last century, a series of events occurred in Anadarko that were destined to have an impact on the cultural heritage of the State of Oklahoma. In the Indian boarding school operated by the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in that community, a group of Kiowa Indian students began to draw images of the tribal traditions that they had witnessed as young children. Eventually their work attracted the attention of a woman employed at the Indian Agency in Anadarko, Susie Peters, and she began to distribute their drawings to interested parties around the state.

Eventually some found their way to the University of Oklahoma, where the head of the Art Department, Professor Oscar Jacobson, issued an invitation to the artists to come to Norman to study art at the university. A total of six artists accepted Jacobson’s offer, but they would be known to history as the “Kiowa Five.” Under Jacobson’s tutelage the artists were allowed to develop their own creative style as they worked in the art department, and he began to share their work with a variety of art patrons. Jacobson took some of their work to Santa Fe, N.M., and it inspired the painting style that is known today as the “Santa Fe School” of Native American art In 1928, several of their paintings were displayed at the International Art Congress in the Czech capital of Prague, which was indicative of their acceptance by the international art community. In the 1930s, one of the Kiowa Five, Stephen Mopope, returned to Anadarko and painted a mural on the ceiling of the Post Office that continues to draw students of art to that community.

Another undertaking is occurring at this time in Anadarko that may again impact Oklahoma’s cultural landscape. Several years ago, Dale and Lena Pound opened a winery in Anadarko that is known as “Woods and Waters” that produces a variety of wines made from the eight different types of grapes that are grown on a 10-acre vineyard. The winery is operated by Lena Pound since her husband has a full-time day job.

Lena Pound is an immigrant from Russia who grew up in Moscow. She explains that she obtained two graduate degrees before she immigrated to America and that she had always wanted to operate her own business. She hopes that wine made at her facility will soon find way on to the menus of numerous restaurants in Bricktown and other parts of Oklahoma City.

According to Lena Pound, Oklahoma’s sunshine and rate of summer rain make the state an ideal place for a winery. She is grateful for the support she has received from individual Oklahomans that have made her winery successful. Lena Pound has developed an interest in the Kiowa community of Anadarko, and reports that she has attended some of the Tribal ceremonies that inspired the Kiowa Five artists. And Ms. Pound is herself an artist who learned the ancient art of making icons when she was growing up in Russia and continues to make them here. Her work, as well as the art of contemporary Kiowa artists, are on sale at the winery She teaches a course on iconography as well. She asserts that wine made in Oklahoma is increasingly being sold around the nation and in overseas locales.

Another immigrant from Russia who is having an impact on Oklahoma is former figure skater Dmitri Logoutine who currently operates the Braum’s Skating Rink in Civic Center Park in downtown Oklahoma City and another rink in Lawton. He also has been asked to consider opening a skating rink in the Edmond area. Logoutine arrived in Oklahoma in 1994 as part of a touring skating company from Russia. The funding for the company fell through while he and the other skaters were in a downtown Oklahoma City hotel, and they found themselves stranded without the means to return to their native land. But individual Oklahomans provided them with assistance, and the kindness that Logoutine received from strangers made him decide to make Oklahoma City his home. He had been a junior world champion skater in his youth, and Logoutine works with young Oklahomans who are interested in skating.

And one of his goals is to reach out to some of the underprivileged and at-risk youth in the Oklahoma City area. He has set up a nonprofit organization for that purpose, and he believes that skating could serve to give those young people the self confidence and discipline that would allow them to be successful in his adopted home.

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